Help with Linux query

  geedad 11:14 16 Jul 2011

I have a Windows XP as my 2nd. Pc, and I am thinking of using Linux O/S on that machine. Has anyone had the experience of changing from XP to Linux? geedad

  LastChip 14:19 16 Jul 2011

It's really easy.

First, choose a distribution (known as a distro) that suits you. That's by far, the hardest part, as there are hundreds to choose from. However, in order to get the list to a more presentable number, here's what I suggest you look at:

Linux Mint - an excellent Windows like operating system, that will be fairly familiar in use to any Windows user.

Ubuntu 10.10 - Note: not Ubuntu 11.04, which sadly is buggy. Well supported and possibly the largest user base for a single system.

OpenSuSE- an enterprise strength distro, with some very solid background code, in an easy to use interface.

Accept, Linux is not Windows. That may seem a very obvious statement, but time and time again, I see Windows users expecting to maintain the system exactly the same as they do in Windows. Don't even think about it! Linux is Linux and you have to accept you are going to do things differently. Once you're used to it, in many ways it's a lot easier.

You can find here, an article I wrote for my local Linux User Group about four years ago, but is (mostly) just as relevant today. It gives an overview of what to expect and also provides some links to other relevant articles. Note particularly, "How to burn an iso file" if you've never done it before.

You do need to consider what hardware you are going to run this system on. The latest distros, (while not requiring Windows bloated specifications), do need reasonable specifications to work properly. If you're computer has a low specification (particularly RAM), then Puppy Linux may be a good choice.

Please come back here if you need further help.

  geedad 14:56 16 Jul 2011

LastChip Thank you very much for your in-depth article about Linux. Do Windows 7 PCs talk to Linux OS's? I have fairly new PC, Intel i5, Home Premium, 64bit, connected wirelessly to the XP. They share emails but not devices. How would they share ? geedad

  bremner 16:07 16 Jul 2011

In the first instance i would not do a full install of Linux.

The distros mentioned above can be booted directly from the CD/DVD. You will see a poorer performance but you will get feel for Linux and the particular flavour

  LastChip 16:26 16 Jul 2011

You can network Linux and Windows PC's seamlessly. It's done via an application (program) call Samba.

In fact, whilst being slightly different, the chances are, when surfing the Internet, your Windows machines will be accessing Linux servers. Google and Facebook are just two examples of corporate giants that run their services on Linux.

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